TOOELE, Utah — Cinderjacklyn, a baby jackrabbit, rose from the ashes of the Cypress Fire and is now in the process of bouncing back.
The six-week-old creature has crispy ears, singed fur, and a burnt nose.
“She’s obviously very fragile,” said Kalena Gary. “It’s sad. It’s hard, but I mean she’s better so that’s worth it.”
The Cypress Fire near Tooele sent the animal’s home up in flames a week and a half ago.
A state trooper saw the injured rabbit and took her to a Tooele vet. A woman volunteered to take the animal home and found the task to be too much work. She passed her along to her friend, Kalena Gary.
“She is spunky. She’s a wild animal through and through,” said Gary.
Cinderjacklyn has been making a comeback slowly but surely. She enjoys cuddling against Gary’s chest and nibbling on carrots and broccoli.
Gary said she has experience caring for injured and burnt birds in the past.
The Division of Wildlife Resources said in these type of scenarios, animals can become too dependent on humans.
“It typically does do more harm than good when people try to take matters into their own hands,” said Faith Heaton-Jolley. “So when it’s released, we typically see that these animals just end up dying.”
Heaton-Jolley said if you find yourself in a similar scenario where you see a burnt or injured animal, call DWR or your local animal control so they can handle the situation.
If you want to keep a wild jackrabbit as a pet, she said you need a certificate of registration. You also have to be a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator to take care of it.
“They can take care of it, get it back to health, and then release it so that it transitions well,” she said.
Gary said Cinderjacklyn is set up to see a wildlife specialist soon. She also plans to place a call with DWR.
Her original goal was to release the jackrabbit back to the wild, but if that’s not what’s best, she’ll look into registering her to a safe home.
“There will be someone that will love her forever if I can’t,” she said.